Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Noah Smith

Trump Did Nothing to Help the Economic Boom

If anything, the president’s actions were a minor drag on the recovery from the Great Recession.

Deserving of neither credit nor blame.

Deserving of neither credit nor blame.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America

The public gives President Donald Trump very low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations. But as recently as the end of June, the public was still giving him slightly positive marks for his handling of the economy. That edge may now be eroding, but Trump’s numbers on economic policy are still much better than on other important issues:

It’s obvious why Trump gets decent ratings on the economy -- before the coronavirus outbreak in March, he had presided over the late stages of the longest economic expansion in postwar U.S. history. But the key phrase here is “presided over,” because Trump didn’t really do much more than that. If anything, those economic policies that he did manage to enact probably did more harm than good.